Journal of Applied and Educational Research


Jon Markus



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While there have been numerous studies showing animal-assisted therapy’s (AAT) positive influence on students’ reading proficiency in school settings and patients’ anxiety levels in hospital settings, little data exists showing the relationship between AAT and the reduction in anxiety, specifically test anxiety, in school children. This sixteen-week study investigated the effects of AAT on student, self-reported test anxiety. Participants in this study were only those students with high and extremely high levels of test anxiety. Using an AB research design, participants received no AAT prior to or during academic testing during the baseline. At the start of the intervention, participants received training on how to utilize a therapy dog’s influence during academic testing. Participants were also provided a therapy dog during academic testing. It was predicted that participants’ self-reported test anxiety scores would decrease on the Westside Test Anxiety Scale from the baseline to the end of the intervention phase due to the implementation of ATT. Statistical analysis was done with a dependent samples t-test, comparing the results of the baseline to those of the treatment. This analysis confirmed this researchers hypothesis that the intervention of AAT provided some relief from test anxiety in 6th grade students with high to extremely high-test anxiety.

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